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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:13 PM

Guatemalans Resist Invasion of North American Mines

Guatemalans Resist Invasion of North American Mines
By davidswanson - Posted on 07 January 2013
By Helen Jaccard and Gerry Condon

In November we traveled to Guatemala to study Spanish and learn about the lives of the indigenous Maya people. Guatemala is an amazingly beautiful country, with countless mountains and valleys, and 22 volcanoes, the most in Central America. The people are very friendly and good humored. Traditional Mayan culture, mostly observed in the colorful dress of the Mayan women, lives side by side with modernity. Picture a traditionally dressed indigenous peasant woman tending her cattle and sheep on a hillside pasture. Now watch her pull a cell phone out of her skirt to call her children.

We are not just Spanish students and certainly not “tourists” in the usual sense. We are active members of Veterans For Peace, and we are very concerned about the U.S. role in Central America. The legacy of the 36-year war waged by the Guatemalan military against its indigenous people is everywhere. A peace agreement was signed in 1996, but many people we met, especially in the mountainous Mayan communities, told us the war continues – through discrimination, poverty, lack of voice in government, and now the systematic destruction of their communities in favor of gold and silver mining, hydroelectric dams, cement plants and oil exploration.

We learned again about the CIA engineered coup that overthrew the progressive, democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. Sponsored by the Eisenhower administration at the behest of the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita), the coup led to a 36-year long war of “scorched earth” genocide. More than 440 Mayan villages were destroyed and over 200,000 people died in massacres by the Guatemalan military, with aid and encouragement from the United States government.

An unjust order prevails to this day. Most of the land and wealth is in the hands of only eight families. To make matters worse, between 2000 and 2004 the Guatemalan government granted over 400 mining and extraction licenses to U.S. and Canadian mining companies who seek gold, silver and other precious metals that are right under the feet of the poor Mayan communities in the mountains. With massive profits to take away from Guatemala, the mining operations are carrying out a “scorched earth” policy of their own.


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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Guatemalans Resist Invasion of North American Mines (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #1
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #2
Bacchus4.0 Jan 2013 #3
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:16 PM

1. Goddam socialist Commies--Only one way to deal with them.


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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:53 PM

2. Who do they think they are, having their own government without our permission.

Last edited Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:24 PM - Edit history (1)


Who do they think they are, struggling all these long years, since the U.S. government overthrew their beloved, elected progressive President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, and dominated the country ever since, supporting the monster puppet Presidents as they committed genocide, wiping out entire Mayan villages, killing everyone in sight, even babies, and very old people, torturing as many as time permitted, throwing them into wells, or ripping them apart and littering the landscape with dead indigenous people, who can they think they are to STILL want freedom from those who would harm them?

Some people, right?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:59 PM

3. isn't their government working in conjunction with the mining companies? n/t


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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:25 PM

4. Well, we sorta donated that government to them.

Not all of them seem happy about that.

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